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Triple response from Wyatt
For Port Albert Second Lieutenant and Junior Leader Wyatt Kilgower, the love of volunteering has generated yet more volunteering.
By Leith Hillard
The boy who joined the fire brigade at 12 for “the friendship side” is now also a 21-year-old chief instructor at Woodside Surf Life Saving Club, a role he’s been working up to since he was awarded his bronze medallion at 16.
Teaching Basic Beach Management involves passing on knowledge about where to place the flags, identifying rips and conflict resolution, while teaching advanced resuscitation strengthens his determination to be a career paramedic.
Wyatt has a few more years before he completes the paramedic course online through the Australian Paramedical College of Queensland. Students must complete 160 hours placement in a clinical field and Wyatt is already on the way to ticking off that requirement, again as a volunteer.
“I wanted to do a hands-on course,” he said, “so I have my Certificate 2 in Medical Response and did a Code 1 driving course. I’m now one of eight fully-trained volunteer ambulance community officers turning out of Yarram branch with a paramedic.
“That sometimes means helping someone I know in need. You turn up to anything from a broken leg to a heart attack and get to see a lot behind the scenes of the emergency services and of your town, just as you do as a CFA vol.
“Same with surf life saving. Woodside has rips and big waves straight from Bass Strait; there’s no protection from the weather. We drag Nippers out of rips each summer. No matter how hard you plan, the sea will always throw up complications.
“I used to be scared of first aid because patients are usually not happy or calm and sometimes you can’t help them, but I tend to be pretty relaxed and never get too stressed. I can keep my mind on the job.”
With all these achievements under his belt, it’s no wonder he was both a finalist in the CFA Volunteer Excellence Award at the mid-year Victorian Young Volunteer of the Year Awards, and the Wellington Shire Council 2017 Young Citizen of the Year.
The latter acknowledged the important role Wyatt played in ensuring young locals have a voice on council.
“There are about 300 children at school in Yarram but there was a hole with entertainment for young people,” continued Wyatt. “There was just the fast-food joint or there’s a two-hour round trip for a night out in Sale. We went after Freeza funding for a youth committee and teenage discos have taken off.
“There’s so much you can do for the town you live in and there are an insane number of qualifications you can get through volunteering.”
Photos supplied by Wyatt Kilgower